We all know it: Getting parenting advice can be the worst. I have received quite a bit of the “in one ear, out the other” kind of advice over the years.  Whether it’s diapering, pets, or sleeping arrangements, everyone’s got an opinion.  Don’t worry, that’s not what I’m trying to pedal.  Instead, here are two tips that I got from other mamas, specifically as they relate to our son’s premature birth and upcoming tracheostomy.

1. Don’t rush into big decisions.

When the doctor said that Garrin needed a tracheostomy, I immediately went into chaos coordinator mode. There wasn’t even a care plan in place when I decided that we’d sell our house and relocate closer to the metro area.  I went as far as applying for a new job, thinking that there was no way we could manage Garrin’s needs from the northeast corner of the state.  If we didn’t move, I was sure that either my husband or I would need to stay home to care for Garrin.  I was frantically trying to work through each of the possible scenarios when I stopped into a coworkers office. She listened and replied, “It may feel like you need to make all these big decisions right now but give yourself time. Take one day at a time and make decisions as challenges and opportunities arise.”  While I’d like to think that I would’ve come to my senses on my own, this advice may have saved me from selling off everything we own, uprooting our three older children, and throwing away everything that we’ve worked for.

2. It’s okay to feel the way you feel.

For the longest time, I felt guilty for feeling overwhelmed and stressed. When anyone asked how things were going or how I was holding up. I would qualify my response with something like “but we are so blessed” or “but there are so many people going through worse.”  I was in the middle of saying one of those types of phrases when a friend stopped me and said, “It’s okay to feel what you feel.  You are going through a lot.  Let it out.  Feel mad or sad or stressed, and then pick yourself back up and do what needs to be done.” We are blessed and there are many children sicker than Garrin, but this advice helped me recognize that those facts don’t take away from the toll that this is having on me and my family.

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